Halff Earns Two ACEC Texas Recognitions

December 11, 2023

RICHARDSON, Texas — Halff, an award-winning, employee-owned, diverse and multidiscipline professional engineering firm, earned a pair of project recognitions from the Texas chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC). The firm received a gold medal in water resources for its work with Bastrop State Park Dam and a silver medal in studies, research and consulting engineering services for the Texas Regional Flood Plans.

road along the Bastrop State Park Dam
Halff received a gold medal in water resources from ACEC Texas for its work on Bastrop Dam State Park.

After the Bastrop State Park Dam embankment failed in 2015, Halff and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) began developing conceptual solutions to reconstruct the dam. The final dam design consisted of a structural fill earthen embankment with a bentonite slurry cut-off wall to control seepage. During flood events, the dam was designed to be overtopped and stabilized on the downstream slope with stepped roller-compacted concrete with a stilling basin, dissipating the hydraulic jump and lowering flow velocities.

Halff continued supporting TPWD throughout the construction phase by providing services that included responding to RFIs and submittals, reviewing change orders, monthly invoicing from the contractor, project closeout, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) compliance and record drawings. The Halff project team also provided biological monitoring for the endangered Houston toad as required by the USACE permit and engineering support to review contractor construction of the embankment foundation and slurry wall.

Partnering with three other firms, Halff served as a technical consultant and set out to complete Regional Flood Plans (RFPs) for the State of Texas in assigned regions on a compressed timeframe during the COVID-19 pandemic. This new process for the state encompassed a complexity and depth of data gathering, assessment and reporting that had never before been navigated.

Map of Texas Regional Flood Plan Findings
Halff and three other firms shared a silver medal in studies, research and consulting engineering services for their work on the Texas Regional Flood Plan. 

Initiated in 2019 by the Texas Legislature via Senate Bill 8, the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) was tasked with compiling the state’s first flood plan on a four-year timeframe, compressed to 18 months for technical consultant work.

Halff submitted initial and amended RFPs on time and on budget, as required by the TWDB and State Legislature. In the following months, Halff and the other firms received a high level of positive feedback from Regional Flood Planning Group chairs and TWDB leadership. Halff’s timely and efficient efforts have made it possible for the TWDB to present data to State leadership that begins to document the flood mitigation needs of communities in Texas. This data will empower the Legislature to make more informed decisions regarding flood management and funding assistance.

The competition has been held by ACEC Texas since its inception in 1975 to honor and recognize outstanding achievements within the engineering community. A distinguished panel of judges from around the state selected winning projects based on uniqueness, originality, technical achievement, value to the engineering profession, complexity and how successfully the project met the needs of the client.

About the Firm

Halff is an award-winning, employee-owned, diverse and multidiscipline professional engineering firm that improves lives and communities by turning ideas into reality. For more than 70 years, Halff has provided smart solutions for clients throughout the United States. The people-first firm is committed to continuously investing in its employees and fostering a culture of collaboration.

Halff has 32 offices in Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. The firm was recognized as the Texas & Louisiana Design Firm of the Year by the Engineering News-Record. Halff is ranked No. 85 in the latest Top 500 Design Firms rankings by ENR. Halff is the No. 15 Top Workplace nationally in 2023 as ranked by Energage for businesses with 1,000 to 2,499 employees.

For more information about Halff, visit halff.com.